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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

November 17, 2006 at 9:02 AM

Friday’s picks

I’m getting ready to get in the car and make the drive to the Palouse, so I’m going to give you all of my picks for today, including the UW game, which I often save for later, since I have no idea when I’ll be able to blog again.
I was 2-3 last week and am now 44-15 for the season.
Washington State 21 Washington 10 — I think the Huskies will play with a lot more fire than they did a week ago (how could they not?) But watching that offense the last few weeks has been painful, and WSU’s defense is unquestionably better than Stanford’s and does some things better than does Oregon.
If the Cougars really get all those D-lineman back and play more 4-3, opening up Mkristo Bruce to pass rush more from the outside, they could really wreak havoc. And right now, UW can’t run on anybody as last week showed. The UW defense played well last week, which is interesting in light of all the talk that the team quit. I hate to sound like one of the coaches, but it is true that if you take out the three long passes to Richard Sherman (who is the one legitimate Pac-10 player Stanford has on offense), the Cardinal gained just 77 yards on its other 52 plays.
I think the defense just wore down in the face of the complete ineptitude by the offense, and I think more of the same could be in the offing against the Cougars.
The whole key is UW’s running game. Maybe Kenny James is healthy enough to add some spark to it this week, or maybe they’ll get Johnie Kirton more involved to give it more of a push up the middle. They have to try something and I’m sure they will (especially Kirton, who I wouldn’t be surprised to see get more than the three carries he got last week). If they can run at all, then things change.
But the Cougars are going to be aggressive — coaches expect WSU to blitz in some manner at least half the time — and if Carl Bonnell gets knocked out again, then it’s Felix Sweetman time. Maybe the story book ending could come true, but the safe bet is on the home team.
Here’s my look at the other Pac-10 games:
Oregon 27, Arizona 21 — Wildcats are improving so rapidly that it’s a good thing UW got to play them down there in September and not now. Arizona’s defense is good enough to make this one scary, and Oregon has a budding QB controversy on its hands. But Oregon’s running game should be enough.
Oregon State 31, Stanford 7— The Cardinal got its one win and now figures to revert to form against an OSU team that has to win this game to assure a bowl bid.
Cal 34, USC 27 — I picked Cal to win the Pac-10 before the season and I can’t pull off of the Bears now, despite the loss last week. I think the Bears were caught looking ahead last week and will pick up their game this week. USC, however, looks like it’s beginning to catch fire.
Arizona State 34, UCLA 17 — Sun Devils are an enigma. But Rudy Carpenter appeared to find his old gunslinger form last week and if he can keep that up, ASU should have enough.
Also, want to make sure you saw my story today on Stanley Daniels. I meant to write this long before the day before his last game (truth be told, I was saving it for part of our preview of their bowl game back when I thought they were headed to one) but better late than never. Daniels has had a rocky road to college, and a rocky road once he got here. But his story is one that points out all the good things about college athletics. He freely admits he might be in a completely different direction if it were not for sports.



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